Preventing the spread of COVID-19
Did you know that you could be spreading the coronavirus without actually realising it or knowing you have it?
The new novel virus can be asymptomatic, which means that it can cause no noticeable illness in some cases. This makes it much easier for people of the public to knowingly transmit the disease to the more vulnerable.
Self-isolation and staying at home has been urged and restrictions put in place to make this happen because of this.
The quick succession of the spread can be down to those who experience mild symptoms but can continue their day as usual. It is usually these people who are the main drivers for spreading the virus further.
A study conducted by Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University shows that 79% of undocumented cases were the source of causing further infections.
Further reports in Italy had shown that 60% of people who tested positive for the virus showed no symptoms.
How is it spread?
People showing mild or no symptoms can spread the disease faster. This is because they have a very high viral load in the upper respiratory tracts. This means that the virus can then be transmitted through touching the mouth or nose, spitting and maybe even talking.
As the symptoms develop these viral loads will steadily decline meaning you become less infectious. However, in the case of COVID-19, it has been reported that people can still shed the virus two weeks after recovering. So, even if someone’s symptoms have subsided they could still be infectious.
Patients can shed around 1,000 times more debris compared to other outbreaks like SARS, which in its peak only resulted in 8,000 cases.
Airborne droplets and surfaces seem to be the most likely causes of infection as the virus can survive in the air for up to three hours.
When is COVID-19 the most contagious?
It is believed that the coronavirus is the most infectious before symptoms appear, that is what a study has revealed over recent days. But it could take up to five days for your symptoms to show, which means practicing hand hygiene is the most important step in preventing the spread. View hand sanitisers here.
Viral shedding, which describes the process of the cells of virus replicating, multiplying and spreading occurs mostly in the early days of the infection.
However, in the most serious of cases, patients experiencing pneumonia continue to show high levels of viral shedding up until day 11.
Those with mild cases of the virus have noted that it is a possibility they stop being infected after the eighth day.
How long is coronavirus contagious for?
Even if you are no longer displaying symptoms of the virus, does not mean that you are no longer contagious.
In fact, those who had symptoms could be contagious for up to a fortnight after the recovery from the disease the World Health Organisation warns.
It is the safest bet for those recovering to be in quarantine for a month.
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